I have been seeing a lot of really great questions from viewers on my social media as well as our Thursday Q&A Podcast question form for Beauty Inside Out. One question I keep getting is, “How can I eat healthy while having to stay up late or working the night shift?” This is something I can totally sympathize with! I have a good friend who is a nurse and she works the night shift. She normally starts around 9pm and works into the next day. This definitely needs to be addressed from a dietary perspective to stay on track as much as possible!
Working or staying up late makes us live in the opposite rhythm from the natural cycles of the sunrise and sunset. I understand that when you’re working at night, your circadian rhythms may feel off and you may crave or desire a heavier, more grounding meal. Don’t worry! It is totally okay to not want a cold salad at 3am. :)
I am going to share with you now some of the best food options you can nourish your body with when you are pulling those night shifts and sleeping during the day.
I think one of the best meals you can have if you are working during a night shift is hot soup. Hot soup can become one of your best friends! Why soup? Soup is really easy on your body as it digests really well and is packed with minerals, grounding fiber and nutrition. Right now, it is winter for most of us, so especially this time of year it will feel comforting and filling.
Many of my soup creations are full of fiber too, which will keep you satisfied during your whole shift. Depending on where you work, you may be able to bring it with you and heat it if you have access to a kitchen. If you don’t have access to a kitchen, you can invest in a BPA-free soup canteen that will keep your soup hot for a few hours until your break.
If your job has a cafeteria open at night, you may be able to get some healthy hot soup there! If you want, you can also bring some gluten-free bread, brown rice crackers or just brown rice with you to enjoy with your soup. I personally eat soup a lot with brown rice; it has always been one of my favorite things to do. I started doing this as a kid and it is something I still enjoy. I find by adding in the brown rice, it really makes the soup feel like a complete meal and makes it extra yummy.
Some great soups to have at night (especially if this is your dinner) are kale lentil soup or even carrot lentil soup. One of my staple soups is my Vegan Cream Of Mushroom Soup which can be found in The Beauty Detox Foods. This is the perfect soup to have as a meal. You can add in quinoa or brown rice as well as mixing in some spinach or kale and letting the green softly wilt into the soup. To mix up the flavors, you can also try The Delish Squash Bisque. I recently published how to make Kitcheree, an Ayurvedic dish, that is very satisfying as well, and filled with protein.
The best thing about making your own soup is there are normally leftovers! You can also make these soups in large batches so you have enough soup for a few nights at a time.
Some other great food choices…
If you work the night shift, you are most likely missing out on the luxury of being able to stop off at the store, local deli or being able to order in. You have to be a little more prepared because at night, sometimes the best foods aren’t always available.
A little planning can go a long way and have you feeling your best, even at night! You don’t want to have to resort to one of those “whole wheat bread” sandwiches that you can find in many late night stores… the bread is often white flour mixed with caramel food dye! A simple solution to this is that you can try to bring your own gluten-free bread or wraps with you and make your own sandwich at work. You can also use butter lettuce or collards to assemble your own healthy wraps, which is something I do a lot when I am in a rush.
A quick way to make a beautiful wrap is to make a version of my Open Faced Avo Beauty sandwich. The ingredients can be used on a gluten-free bread, wrap or any type of green. All you have to do is combine some avocado, mustard, probiotic and enzyme salad (raw kraut) and micro-greens. You can bring all of these components to work with you and assemble your Beauty Dinner instantly.
I love brown rice, avocado and veggie rolls as a suggestion if you want to have variety on the go. This is something you can easily bring with you. All this requires is leaving enough time in your schedule to stop at the store before heading to work to ensure you have everything you need.
You can also try my Quinoa, Corn and Avocado Salad. This is a simple recipe you can have at room temperature so you don’t have to worry about heating it up. You can try many varieties of a quinoa salad for a meal option that is filling and easy to make. No heating required!
The Main Take Aways…
My takeaways for today’s question is try to make sure you are eating hot, fiber-filled foods instead of something like pasta and processed sandwiches. Those foods may feel grounding but aren’t the best for your digestion as they are often filled with gluten, make you bloated and have less energy.
And another important take away is that when you work against the normal 9-5, being prepared in advance becomes a little more important. I suggest planning out your meals ahead of time. You can make it a routine to make sure you go grocery shopping and prep your meals ahead of time on your days off.
After your meal, try one of my vegan latte recipes! A nice warm drink can feel really comforting as you are burning the night fuel at your job. A few recipes you can try are my Happy Cow Hot Chocolate and my Vegan Vanilla Latte! You may be able to make these easily in your office cafeteria or you can bring it with you in a canteen.
One more thing I would like to offer you is something for your sweet tooth! I have created a variety of amazing vegan truffles you can easily make and bring with you. Working at night can leave you feeling vulnerable to the vending machine with processed goodies. A great way to prevent yourself from eating foods that will not make you feel your best is to make a batch of truffles. I have three versions and the newest is the Pumpkin Spice Truffles.
We all need a treat sometimes, so set yourself up for success! These truffles are dense in a healthy way. They have almonds, so are packed with vitamin E, calcium and protein. They can taste really satisfying, especially if you have a carb or sugar craving.
And don’t forget, every Thursday I have the Q&A show on my podcast Beauty inside Out and I answer questions submitted by you! Today’s video was inspired by the community as well. Thank you for reaching out to me. I am always here for you!
For more answers, please check those out. There so many amazing and interesting questions coming out of the community and you know, chances are if you have a question many other people have the same question. Keep your comments coming and your questions. I love to hear from you.
I’ll see you back here soon!